RALEIGH – What county is the best place for young people to start a career in North Carolina? Think it’s Wake? Mecklenburg? Durham? Think again.

Try Currituck, best known for the Outer Banks.

So says financial information site SmartAsset based on a review of data about young people ages 20-24.

Citing a variety of factords ranging from cost of living to income growth and college costs, SmartAsset ranks Currituck No. 1 and Wake County No. 8 among its top 10. Neither Durham (21) nor Mecklenburg (35) crack the top 10. Chatham comes in at No. 4.

SmartAsset notes that launching a career comes “with its fair share of challenges, like earning an entry-level salary while facing things like student loan debt and living expenses.” A mix of unemployment rates, purchasing power and income growth data makes Currituck pretty appealing.

Currituck’s index score based on the various factors in 65.27. Henderson is second at 63.09. Wake scored 57.47.

The coastal county tops Wake in areas such as median income, income growth, purchasing power and a lower unemployment rate.

But Currituck is hardly known as a career launching pad. A visitors’ guide notes:

“Relax in the tucked-away paradise of Currituck’s Outer Banks, North Carolina. Home of the legendary Corolla Wild Horses and beach driving on some of America’s most secluded shores from Corolla to Carova. Named one of the ‘Best Family Beaches on the East Coast’ by Fodor’s. Enjoy world-class golf, watersports, shopping and dining, and beach rental homes.”

Of course, Nortfolk isn’t too far away to go job searching, either.

Here’s a breakdown by top 10 counties:

Source: SmartAsset

Here’s a link to the criteria used for the study.